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Segregation and the Sea: Toward a Critical Understanding of Race and Coastal Blue Space in Greater Miami

Phoenix, Cassandra and Bell, Sarah L. and Hollenbeck, Julie (2021) 'Segregation and the Sea: Toward a Critical Understanding of Race and Coastal Blue Space in Greater Miami.', Journal of sport and social issues., 45 (2). pp. 115-137.


There is a growing body of research signaling the health and wellbeing benefits of being in blue space. Here, we advance this intellectual agenda by critically examining perceptions and experiences of coastal blue space among residents of a disadvantaged, predominantly African American community who report limited engagement with their local coastal blue space, despite beachgoing being considered mainstream by a previous generation. Drawing on focus group data and sensitized to a range of theoretical perspectives aligned with race, space, and social class, we advance theoretical and empirical knowledge pertaining to blue space engagement. In doing so, we demonstrate the need for more critically informed, theoretically appropriate research in this area, which connects individual stories of the sea to the wider historical, social, and political settings in which relationships with blue space are framed and (re)produced.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Date accepted:20 February 2020
Date deposited:21 August 2020
Date of first online publication:20 August 2020
Date first made open access:21 August 2020

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